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Proven Facts on the Benefits of Marijuana For Arthritis Patients

Proven Facts on the Benefits of Marijuana for Arthritis Patients

Any number of marijuana users, whether medicinal or recreational, will tell you that “Mary J” is great for relaxation. In fact, you would probably receive a list of problems the drug has helped relieve or alleviate all together.

As an arthritis patient looking for alternatives to synthesized medicines, unable to use traditional medications or physically unreceptive to traditional medication, you may be skeptical. You may be disbelieving. You may, in fact, consider marijuana users to be a little lacking in the intelligence quotient, merely trying to make their drug use acceptable.

However, as the title of this article indicates, there is scientifically proven evidence that medicinal marijuana can, indeed, provide relief from arthritic pain.

What is Medicinal Marijuana?

First, it must be noted that there are two major differences between medicinal marijuana and commercial or “street” marijuana.

1. Commercial marijuana can come from any number of cannabis strains. Different strains have varying pain relieving, anti-inflammatory, etc. potencies. The potency of commercial marijuana can’t be guaranteed. Medicinal marijuana strains, on the other hand, are chosen for specifically for their potency and effects.

2. Some commercial marijuana has been fertilized with unsafe fertilizers. These fertilizers may contain metal derivatives and other toxic substances or by-products. Medicinal marijuana is fertilized carefully, with the health of the patient in mind, with nontoxic fertilizers.

It is not recommended that one buy commercial marijuana (or marihuana) to replace a prescription for medicinal marijuana.

Proven Benefits of Marijuana for Arthritis Patients

Although the legal aspects in many countries, funding and other issues inhibit the number of studies on the therapeutic aspects of marijuana, there is still a surprising amounts of information available. The facts so far are clear:

– Marijuana has shown to be an anti-inflammatory

– The potential for cannabis use to help inflammation and muscle spasms have been proven for several illnesses

– Marijuana has been used as a pain treatment for hundreds of years, if not thousands (some records date back to B.C.)

– Studies suggest that marijuana may not only help inflammation, but may lower the actual growth of the disease itself

Dr. Tom Mikuriya, a member of Mensa and several well-known organizations studying medicinal marijuana, wrote in 2002:

“Clinical interviews of over 6500 members at cannabis buyers clubs and patients in my office practice lead to this generalization: Many illnesses or conditions present with both inflammation and muscle spasm. Cannabis is both an antispasmodic and anti inflammatory.”

Well known and respected as an authority on the therapeutic uses of marijuana, Dr Mikuriya also states “Chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis and lumbosacral disease responds well to cannabis compared with other analgesics.”

In 2005, Rheumatology Advance Access online published a study by Dr. Blake et al of the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath. Noted as “the first controlled trial of a CBM [cannabis based medicine] in the symptomatic treatment of RA in humans”, the study was based on several facts:

– Marijuana has historically been used as a pain treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, although its therapeutic potential has never been evaluated in a clinical study.

– THC and CBD, the two main components of marijuana, have been recognized as “key therapeutic constituents that act synergistically together and with other plant constituents.”

– THC has shown pain relieving abilities for both nociceptive and neropathic pain.

– CBD has shown the ability to block the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, while both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory effects.

“In comparison with placebo, the CBM produced statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest, quality of sleep, DAS28 and the SF-MPQ pain at present component. There was no effect on morning stiffness but baseline scores were low. The large majority of adverse effects were mild or moderate, and there were no adverse effect-related withdrawals or serious adverse effects in the active treatment group.”

Due to the surprising responses, the researchers ended the study with a call for more studies. “We believe this to be the first controlled study of a CBM in rheumatoid arthritis, and the results are encouraging. The beneficial effects occurred in the context of a dosing regime restricted to evening dosing in order to minimize any possible intoxication-type reactions. However, 24-h dosing with this CBM (Sativex) using a self-titration regime in the context of multiple sclerosis resulted in only minimal intoxication scores [9]. Larger, more prolonged studies of CBM in rheumatoid arthritis are indicated.”

In 2006, the Center of Drug Discovery in Boston, Massachusetts published a study entitled The Cannabinergic System as a Target for Anti-inflammatory Therapies. With habitual cannabis use proven to affect the immune system, endocannabinoid research has helped to understand the effects through cell-based or in vivo animal testing.

According to the study, these tests “suggest that regulation of the endocannabinoid circuitry can impact almost every major function associated with the immune system…. the results suggest therapeutic opportunities for a variety of inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerosis, allergic asthma, and autoimmune diabetes through modulation of the endocannabinoid system.”

Although many a naysayer mentions the potentials for overdose, it must be noted that there has never been one documented case of someone overdosing on marijuana, whether through recreational or medicinal use. As well, many are concerned about cancer-causing agents through inhaling the smoke, but a comprehensive study in 2006 could show no proof of marijuana causing lung cancer.

Finally, remember that medical marijuana should not be smoked. Using it in baking or with a vaporizer will offer the therapeutic benefits needed to alleviate arthritis symptoms.

Understanding Bullying

The cause of bullying is simple: bullying is due to intolerable self-loathing. It’s not the victim’s self-loathing that’s responsible, however; it’s that of the bully.

Bullying usually takes place when a popular and/or powerful student (or boss or co-worker) harasses an unpopular student (or employee or colleague) who has little or no power. It is always a case of someone in a supposed position of strength attacking someone who appears weaker and more vulnerable.

This begs the question: Why would a person who has achieved an enviably superior social status want to waste their time picking on someone of far lesser social value? The answer lies in psychoanalytic theory: The bully is compelled to attack the victim because they are utterly terrified that deep-down, they are exactly like this weak, vulnerable social misfit.

According to psychoanalytic theory, we employ what are known as psychological defense mechanisms to ward off unwanted, frightening feelings or urges within our psyche. These defense mechanisms are sometimes useful and sometimes hurtful, to ourselves and others.

In the case of bullying, the bully is going through life feeling unbearably vulnerable. Despite being in a position of power, this individual feels deeply inadequate and possibly even like a fraud who has tricked others into according them the benefits of superior social status.

The bully is unable to tolerate their feelings of helplessness and vulnerability, which every human being must contend with, mind you. In the case of the bully, they experience excruciating anxiety that their mask of superiority might slip and their failings would inadvertently be demonstrated to others. They can’t stand the idea that they might be judged and possibly rejected for their inadequacies.

Psychologically, vulnerability and inadequacy can appear contagious. For those of us who can tolerate these aspects of ourselves, the weakness of others isn’t experienced as a threat. For the bully, they’re terrified how the victim’s weakness might rub off on them.

Their anxiety turns into rage- the rage of the helpless, overwhelmed beast who lashes out at the object which threatens them. This terrifying object is the nerd, the social outcast, the person who is different.

The victim of bullying is going through life minding their own business. Perhaps they are someone who is fascinated with subjects deemed “uncool” in the high school milieu; perhaps they have a condition such as Asperger’s disorder which causes them to be socially awkward in the workplace. They might as adults have PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and be overly-sensitive in social situations.

Whatever the case, the victim of bullying hasn’t done anything to provoke the bully, except appear less powerful and less socially acceptable than the average person in their midst. This, unfortunately, is the trigger for the bully’s rage. The victim’s apparent inadequacy is an affront to the bully, who employs the defense of projection in order to cope with being confronted by an outward manifestation of their inner helplessness.

The bully projects – much like a movie projector sends an image onto a screen- their own self-loathing onto the victim. This, then, turns into hatred for the victim, who must be punished for causing the bully such anxiety. The bully can’t stand to see their own inadequacy and vulnerability being embodied by the victim, and must destroy it.

Everyone, in order to live a good life, ultimately must be able, in their process of psychological development, to acknowledge and accept their own innate vulnerability, helplessness and inadequacy. We must all come to terms with our weakness and our imperfection. We must be able, as the great British psychoanalyst and author Adam Phillips says, to “bear being hated,” and to overcome our own hatred of the awkward, inept parts of ourselves.

While the socially awkward person is often aware of and has come to terms with being different, the bully is someone who rejects their own awkwardness and inadequacy. When they scapegoat or attack others, it represents a rejection of the self, an act of self-loathing and self-destruction, at least of the unwanted parts of themselves.

While on the surface it appears like an act of domination and subjugation, bullying is actually an act of desperation, where the bully is frantically trying to obliterate the physical manifestation of their secret, disowned frailty. Although their acts might be aggressive and even violent, the bully is in reality a terrified child in a state of panic about the possibility of recognizing or revealing their terrible feelings of helplessness.

It will be impossible to eradicate bullying and harassment unless we recognize where it comes from. Aside from empowering the victims of bullying and putting sanctions in place for the bullies, it is essential to address the deep-seated fears and self-loathing on the part of those who engage in these behaviors. Until we begin working on getting them to accept themselves, they will never be able to overcome their hatred for those threatening “weaklings” who represent their own, disowned weakness.

Superfoods for Migraines

Migraines and cluster headaches: whatever the label, the pain and side effects can be intense! In addition to traditional treatments, including more of the following “superfoods” can help.

What are superfoods? Well, they’re not exactly supplements–although some supplement companies have begun to market “extracts” of various superfoods. By definition, superfoods are whole foods or oils that offer exceptionally high doses of nutrition. People call them “super” in part because of their benefits and in part due to their origins. Most superfoods are not new; rather, they’ve been used by powerful ancient cultures and only recently rediscovered by the West. Although some scientists and many raw foodists credit superfoods with amazing regenerative and protective abilities for almost any health issue, this article discusses superfoods for special consideration by those who suffer migraines and/or cluster headaches.

Cacao (kuh-COW): Commonly marketed as raw cacao or raw chocolate, this “food of the gods” actually became monetary currency in the Aztec empire! Conventional wisdom tells those with migraines to avoid chocolate as a major trigger food. While some people do have sensitivities to chocolate, most people actually react to the typical dairy and refined sugar in cooked chocolate bars. Raw cacao, by contrast, offers seven times the antioxidants of its cooked version, without the offending dairy and sugar. More importantly for those with migraines, raw cacao contains one of the highest sources of magnesium in any food. Magnesium acts as the relaxing counterpart to calcium and helps to balance brain chemisty. In fact, many migraine sufferers manage to stave off headaches by consuming large quantities of magnesium supplements. Magnesium can also help with PMS, another known trigger of migraines. In addition to magnesium, raw cacao offers caffeine (which seems to affect the body less intensely in its raw form). Some people with migraines find that judicious use of caffeine can curtail a headache before it becomes a full blown episode. Most prescription migraine pills contain some form of caffeine. From a nutritional standpoint, raw cacao certainly beats a Pepsi! If you know for sure that chocolate causes a reaction, skip the raw cacao, but otherwise it could be worth a (delicious) try. Add cacao nibs or powder to morning smoothies, or make raw fudge by mixing the powder with coconut butter, raw agave nectar or honey, and some of the other superfoods listed below. As with any new food, start small so you can monitor your reactions.

Maca (MAH-kuh): Also known as “Peruvian viagra,” maca is a root grown at 14,000 feet in the Andes Mountains. Despite its fame for keeping Peruvian men virile into their 80’s, maca actually functions as an adaptogen, meaning it balances all hormones. If someone has too much estrogen, maca works to lower estrogen levels. If another person has too little estrogen, maca helps the body bring those levels back to optimal levels. Maca also nourishes the adrenal glands, helping the body handle some of the stress that so often triggers cluster headaches and migraines. Maca grows in some of the most inhospitable conditions on earth, but it has learned to flourish where other plants die. Natives believe that the root transfers this strength and adaptability to those who consume it: “You are what you eat!” Metaphysics aside, maca’s high mineral content, B-vitamins, protein, fatty acids, and plant sterols allow it to rebuild the body wherever it most needs help–good news for people whose headaches come from stress or hormonal imbalance. Maca tastes a bit like radish, so you don’t want to add too much to sweet smoothies. It blends exceptionally well with cacao, though, and I always enjoy a morning glass of fresh squeezed lemon juice in water with about a teaspooon of maca. The lemon brings out maca’s hidden sweetness, making a surprisingly zesty lemonade.

Hemp: No, I’m not talking about marijuana, even though some people do employ cannabis for medicinal purposes. You can now find hulled hemp seeds, hemp butter, hemp protein powder and hemp oil at alternative health food stores and in many online shops. Despite virtually no THC content (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana), the U.S. government prohibits the sale of hemp seeds ready for sprouting, so you can only legally buy hulled ones or hemp products, most of which seem to come from Canada. Nonetheless, hemp has experienced a major resurgence in recent years as people have rediscovered what ancient Europeans knew so long ago. Hemp supports the immune system and contains edestin, the protein most easily assimilated by humans–good news for people who react to protein powders made from soy or dairy (whey). Hemp seeds, butter and oil also contain the perfect ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, thought to help balance hormones and brain chemistry. In addition, the green color of hemp comes from chlorophyll, which differs only by one atom from hemoglobin. (Hemoglobin forms around an iron atom, whereas chlorophyll forms around that beneficial magnesium atom.) Purifying the blood with chlorophyll-rich foods like hemp, wheat grass and leafy greens can alkalinize the body, which, in turn, eases stress responses like migraines and cluster headaches. Hemp protein powder tastes a bit gritty, but the butters, oil and seeds carry a pleasant, slightly nutty sensation that combines especially well with raw cacao and maca. You can also replace the bulghur wheat (gluten is a major migraine trigger) in foods like tabouli with hemp seeds, or use hemp butter as a nutritious replacement for another common trigger–peanut butter.

Yerba Mate (YUR-buh MAH-tay): For those people who know they need to kick the coffee habit but simply can’t forgo their cuppa Joe, Yerba Mate offers a good substitute. Another highly mineralized South American food, Yerba Mate tastes somewhat similar to coffee, but instead of depleting the adrenal glands, it nourishes them with B-vitamins, 15 amino acids, 11 polyphenols (like in green tea and red wine) and, you guessed it: more magnesium and chlorophyll. Whereas coffee provides a caffeine jolt, mate’s energy comes from the B-vitamins, blood purifying properties and a component called mateine. Unlike caffeine, mateine gives a lift without the crash. Some independent coffee houses now serve soymilk “mate lattes,” or you can brew the tea at home. For best results, warm but don’t boil the water, then let the tea steep for 5 minutes. You can then add hemp milk and essential oils like peppermint with a hint of raw cacao powder, creating your own minty mocha. Yerba Mate also brews well as a sun tea, mixed with orange peel or traditional chai tea spices. A favorite of shamans, Yerba Mate offers a traditional, nutritional alternative to coffee, along with minerals and nutrients thought to support hormonal balance and alkalinity.

In short, these superfoods bring trace minerals, potent nutrients, and a bit of folklore. As foods rather than drugs, they gradually rebuild and support the body, instead of generating a “quick fix.” If you’d like a holistic approach to treating migraines or cluster headaches and haven’t responded to “newfangled cures,” you might want to explore some ancient culinary treats.

Beware of Poisonous Trees Near Fish Ponds

If you are a pond keeper it is imperative to ensure that certain species of tree that are poisonous are kept away from your fish pond. The vast majority of species shed their leaves, particularly during the fall. The last thing you want is for your Koi and other pond fish to eat the leaves, as they fall into the water.

Even if the leaves are not poisonous the increased levels of organic matter falling into or blowing into the pond is bad news; the leaves eventually decay on the pond floor. Decaying vegetation increases the levels of ammonia and carbon dioxide; nobody wants that!

A net covering is a viable solution but does in my opinion detract from the overall look and feel of the pond; needs must in many cases however!

You may think that I’m okay because I have a pond surface skimmer to remove the leaves. Although the pond skimmer will remove the leaves, it may not do so in time. Koi are inquisitive, hungry creatures that will investigate any new pond presence pretty much straight away!

The right selection of tree species will certainly provide a welcome respite for your Koi, goldfish, toads and other aquatic life from a hot summer day, as its shadow prevents the water from heating quickly.

The welcoming shade helps to block out UV rays, in turn helping to control the build up of suspended algae and blanket weed. The cooler water helps oxygen to dissolve from the atmosphere into the water much more easily.

When selecting trees to place around a pond avoid the following, or select them at your peril! The laburnum, bay, laurel, yew and lime tree all cause problems. Other species, whilst not necessarily poisonous have large root systems that will eventually interfere with your liner pond; the poplar varieties, willows and sycamores are examples to avoid.

The following list is suitable for planting in backyards, containing a fish pond or water garden:

* Some of the ash tree varieties are a good choice, as they do not cast too much shade and their root system does not spread like wild wire. The Mountain ash has elder type umbels of flowers in spring, followed by bright red berries in the fall that are almost eclipsed by the stunning red foliage. The Japanese Mountain Ash produces large orange berries.

* Crab apple trees are a fairly small tree species that are a great choice for landscaping around a fish pond. The Japanese Crab apple and the scented Malus Pink Perfection are good choices.

* Other good choices are Hawthorns or Mays, particularly if you need something really tough and hardy. Why not try the Crataegus prunifolia for autumn colour.

* The Swedish silver birch (Betula dalecarlica) is great if you are looking for light foliage and a bark that gradually goes whiter over time.

If you have an outdoor pergola, situated near to your pond and are looking to add some evergreen variegated climbers then make sure that you avoid deciduous climbers, such as ivy. This plant species is amongst the most poisonous of all climbing varieties.

If you are determined to select evergreen deciduous climbers then the Silver Queen (Euonymus fortunei) is a great option as it grows rapidly and hardly flowers at all; occasionally it does produce flowers but you can easily prune it back.

A Few Facts About Understanding A Medical Marijuana License

A sensitive issue to some is obtaining a medical marijuana license to be able to legally obtain and use marijuana for medical issues. The use of this plant remains on the hot seat with politicians and average people alike.

Currently there are 15 states that approve of the use of marijuana as a medicine. These states include Washington, Vermont, New Jersey, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico and Nevada. Arizona is the most recent state to jump on board, passing a referenda in 2010 permitting its use for medicinal purposes. Growing the plant for personal use remains illegal throughout the United States and the Federal government does enforce the laws against it.

In 1937, Franklin Roosevelt, the President of the United States at the time, made it illegal to use cannabis for any reason. This put a stop on all uses of this substance as a therapeutic aid for ill persons. Up until that point, it had been listed in the pharmaceutical reference books as a form of medicinal aide for a variety of illnesses and problems.

The medical benefits of cannabis cover a broad scope of issues. It is used as a treatment for nausea and excessive vomiting, along with stomach pain and cramping. It has also been known to treat cancer patients and treat intestinal pain caused by debilitating diseases or injuries. The most famous mention of this substance is used for glaucoma patients. These patients usually see a marked change in their personal health and state of mind while using it as a medication.

It is also known to have cognitive effects, lower the anxiety and stress level of the patient. The feeling of being high is what causes it to be compared to alcohol. The ban on this substance also brings to mind the prohibition on alcohol. Many doctors and researchers, along with average citizens, will attest to the fact that alcohol causes a great deal more damage to the human body, mentally and physically, than cannabis.

Government continues to seek ways to control the growth and use of this substance by average people. Although it has great potential health benefits and is claimed to be, by some professionals in the health industry, one of the safest substances to use for its therapeutic benefits. Since it can easily be grown by anyone, officials remain steadfast at keeping it illegal, regardless of the many yes votes obtained whenever a state puts an amendment on a new bill in an attempt to legalize the medical aspects.

Often called a stepping stone to harsher drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, studies are beginning to prove that unlike these man-made drugs, the cannabis plant is an herb that has actual benefits when smoked. The fact that it is smoked, like a cigarette, has some people worried about the effect on the lungs and in secondhand smoke. Many studies and much research continues to be done to judge the advantages and disadvantages of using this substance for medical help.

The ability to regulate the distribution of this substance is what government struggles to have. By distributing a medical marijuana license to people who have a health need proven to be reduced or aided by its use, government hopes to come up with solutions to the problem of the black market and other sources that people find to possess and smoke it.

Leaves Of Edible Plants Make High-Fiber Diet Rich In Proteins, Vitamins And Minerals

An unbalanced diet which includes too much carbs or too little proteins can lead to a host of health problems. This may be prevented by eating moderate amounts of leaves of known plant species.

An excellent source of fiber, edible leaves contain good quantities of proteins, vitamins and minerals. By cooking the leaves, in most cases, the excessive heat will kill off the enzyme that produces toxic chemicals.

Vietnamese Leaf Salad

Lying in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam, the Kon Tum province offers a distinctly unique leaf salad called goi la, consisting of 40 to 50 kinds of leaves, of which 10 to 20 plant species can only be gathered from the fast disappearing forests.

Many of these, like perilla leaves (Perilla frutescens) moxa herb-mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), buffalo’s tongue (Berkheya setifera) and skunk vine are medicinal plants, beneficial for the health of your respiratory, digestive and immune systems.

In particular, hook weed (Galium aparine) detoxifies the body, purifies the blood and promotes healing; while vajra (Caralluma attenuate) has anti-diabetic effects.

Thai Multi-Flavored Hors d’oeuvres

There is a Thai street food, miang kham where wild pepper leaves are folded into bite-sized cones to be filled with assorted foods.

A rich source of vitamin C, the nutritious leaves of wild pepper-grass (Lepidium virginicumare) are diuretic and thus, detoxifying. Its merits lie in expelling worms from the intestine, to treating diabetes and relieving rheumatic pain.

To off-set the hot, cress-like wild pepper flavor, a generous filling presents different textures and tastes through a fascinating mix of: vegan shrimps, unsalted roasted peanuts, toasted shredded coconut, chopped chillies, diced young ginger, asian shallots and unpeeled lime quarters.

The filled cone is then sealed with a sweet and salty dipping sauce of vegan shrimp paste and fish sauce, with a touch of jaggery sugar.

Hakka-Chinese Leaf Rice Cakes

From a small Hakka-Chinese village of Titi in Malaysia, are some confectionery experts in 3 local artisan leaf cakes, made from the ramie, skunk vine and argy wormwood weeds growing profusely in that region.

These cake makers truly understand how to use wild edible leaves as sources of supplemental plant foods and medicine. With respect to food safety, their rice cakes are completely free from coloring, preservatives and other chemical addictives.

For example, the ramie or Chinese grass (Boehmeria nivea) is high in fiber, proteins and minerals like calcium, and amino acid. Also, it has properties that treat, prevent or alleviate disease symptoms; and reduce inflammation as well.

Not to be outdone, the skunk vine or Chinese fever vine (Paederia foetida) contains 2 active constituents that fight cancer of the mouth, digestive tract and skull. Besides, it has properties that promote blood circulation and regular maintenance of the body.

Some of the good things the argy wormwood (Artemisia Argyi) can do for your body are stalling the growth of bacteria, viruses or fungi that cause diseases, treating coughs. reducing fever. and stopping wounds from bleeding.

To prepare the weed leaves for use, they are first soaked or boiled in hot water, squeezed dry and ground into a paste before being mixed with glutinous rice flour and steamed as chewy cakes. These simple flour confections should ideally be seasoned with just a little blackstrap molasses or stevia.

So, a plant-based diet is not as dreary as you may make it out to be. Eating leaves, for instance, can be pretty exciting and totally satisfying, as you will see.

Whether Or Not Medical Cannabis Should Be Widely Accepted

The usage of medical cannabis in modern times is controversial, and in recent years the American Medical Association, the MMA, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and other medical organizations have issued statements opposing its usage for medicinal purposes.

In general, research says medical marijuana is safe and effective in controlling chronic pain, alleviating nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, treating wasting syndrome associated with AIDS, and controlling muscle spasms due to multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. several studies have suggested that cannabinoids may stop many kinds of cancers from growing and spreading, including pancreatic, lung, leukemic, melanoma, oral, lymphoma and other kinds of cancer. A significant proportion of oncologists support medical marijuana as an option for their patients.

There are several species of Cannabis. They are:

Cannabis sativa: A strain found in Mexico and Central South America. The sativa plant is tall with narrow, serrated leaves. It has THC – the psychoactive-inducing part of the plant – and the effects are primarily on the mind and emotions.

Cannabis Indica: A strain found in Asia and India and grown in the US. The plant is short and stocky. Indica’s effects are primarily physical and some emotional, including relaxation, sedation and pain reduction.

Cannabis Ruderalis: This strain is also called hemp and has no THC.

Cannabis Hybrid Strains: The result in cross pollination of various strains. The effects are often stronger than the original strain.

Unlike many abused drugs, an overdose of marijuana is not lethal, according to the National Cancer Institute. Although marijuana can be addictive for some, the potential for forming an addiction to marijuana is lower than some prescription drugs and other abused drugs.

However, marijuana has side effects. The primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, one of more than 60 cannabinoids (chemicals unique to marijuana). THC binds to cannabinoid receptors, which are concentrated in areas of the brain associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and time perception.

Researchers believe that regular cannabis use can have neurotoxin effects on maturing brain structures. A 2012 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who started smoking before the age of 18, showed a greater decline in IQ and cognitive functioning than people who started taking as adults. Even more: Heavy teen users-an average of four or more times a week-who continued to smoke as adults experienced an 8-point IQ drop which couldn’t be blamed on booze, other drugs, or less education.

The effects of marijuana can interfere with attention, judgment and balance. Marijuana also suppresses the immune system, which can be damaging to many people, but useful for others with certain health conditions. Although marijuana has been known to decrease pressure within the eyes, a symptom of the condition glaucoma, research has shown that other drugs may be more effective.

Studies have produced conflicting results on whether smoking marijuana carries a significant cancer risk. According to the American Cancer Society, worldwide research into the benefits and side effects of compounds in marijuana is ongoing. Some compounds in marijuana have already been developed into pharmaceuticals.

Canada, New Zealand and several countries in Europe have approved a nasal spray, which uses purified cannabinoids derived from marijuana for the treatment of cancer pain and muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved two drugs made from synthetic cannabinoids, dronabinol and nabilone, which treat nausea and appetite problems in cancer and HIV patients. Yet the FDA has not approved marijuana in its plant form as a treatment.

To conclude it can be said that while Cannabis for treating bad effects or serious or terminal illness may be an option, using it for pleasure or for not very serious purposes must be avoided.

Medicinal Marijuana As a Treatment for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a painful muscle disorder that can affect the muscles all over the body, as well as the tendons, ligaments and joints. Symptoms include muscle spasms, cramping, tingling and burning sensations, chronic fatigue, headaches, insomnia, stress, anxiety and depression.

The symptoms are difficult to treat, as multiple drugs are given, and they often have negative side effects that can aggravate the symptoms even more. So what is medicinal marijuana and how can it help?

Medicinal Marijuana

Medicinal marijuana is obtained from the cannabis plant, which is a natural herb that has been used for over 5,000 years for medical purposes. Even though possession of marijuana is illegal in many parts of the world, it has been shown to relate pain, reduce anxiety, lift the moods, boost confidence, help with sleeping, and prevent muscle spasms.

As a result new laws are being implemented in certain parts of the world that allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Patients are given a license to purchase and possess the herb, and as with pharmaceutical drugs the marijuana is prescribed to the patients in certain dosages.

Using Marijuana for Fibromyalgia

Since fibromyalgia patients have many so many divers symptoms, they are required to take just as many drugs, as each drug is designed to only treat one particular symptom. Drugs are toxic and can have negative side effects which often add to the pain and frustration that fibromyalgia sufferers face.

Medicinal marijuana on the other hand is able to treat multiple symptoms with one dosage, and and with less side effects. There are still chemicals that are inhaled when smoking the herb, but some patients find that it does not cause fatigue, and is more effective than other prescribed medicines. They claim that it helps to numb the pain and the burning sensations of fibromyalgia.

The active ingredient in marijuana that helps to relieve the pain and other symptoms is known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This compound is put into a drug called Nabilone (Cesamet), which helps with sleeping, numbs pain and eases depression. Studies show that it is more effective than amitriptyline, which is a drug that is often prescribed to fibromyalgia patients to help with depression, pain and sleeplessness.

Why Marijuana?

The human body naturally produces endorphins, which help to relieve pain. Marijuana contains cannabinoids that are very much like the endorphins that the body produces. Thus it can be considered to be a natural herbal treatment.

Marijuana can be taken in several different ways such as smoking, which is the most common method. But it can also be taken through vaporization, eating or drinking. Vaporization is a method where the herb is heated, but not to the degree that it smokes, and then the vapors are inhaled.

Medical Marijuana: A Real Hot Potato

Imagine walking into your office one morning and finding out that your credit card services had been terminated overnight. They were cut off not for lack of payment and not for being involved in an illegal business, but rather they were cut off for indeterminate “unacceptable business practices.” This is a reality facing many owners of medical marijuana dispensaries who get “creative” with their applications; and if you fabricated your application it can be a legitimate termination – but that isn’t always the case.

Left Without Service

The story above isn’t uncommon. It happened recently to Alternative Medical Choice, Inc., a consultation service based in Oregon. What does AMC do that got them in trouble with their service provider Intuit? AMC is a business which offers consultations with doctors for the approval of medical cannabis use under Oregon law. Even though the clinic does not dispense or distribute medical cannabis, it has lost its services.

Intuit states that they terminated services because AMC did not reveal its involvement with medical marijuana. When further questioned about terminating some 3000 other accounts they hold with clinics offering the same services, they stated that they would not be terminating those accounts because they didn’t feature medical cannabis on their web pages. AMC offered to remove the reference, but Intuit won’t reestablish the account because “now we know.”

PayPal, the online payment service, has also terminated accounts associated with medical marijuana consultation references.

DEA, FDA, IOM and Other Alphabet Soup

Part of the problem businesses face stems from the question of whether or not marijuana is actually medicinal. The DEA and the US government hold the position that smoking marijuana has no medical value. The American Cancer Society, the AMA and the AAP all agree that smoking is not an optimal way in which to gain any benefits, if they exist. Alternate methods of ingestion are being investigated.

Even the large Institute of Medicine study frequently cited by proponents of medicinal marijuana actually opposes the use of smoked marijuana for medical benefits. The study found that there were some “potentially therapeutic” benefits to cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, but that other available medications offered better results. The lack of standardization, the method of dosage and other factors all lead to the IOM rejecting the idea of more studies.

Where Do We Go Next?

Just like many other hot potatoes, few people want to handle this one. For those who have opened dispensaries, the challenges involved in obtaining traditional financing, accounts and services have sometimes become overwhelming. For others who remain in the business, alternatives are available.

While selling cannabis online remains illegal, the Internet is a good place to search for companies willing and even eager to enter the market. By searching specifically for merchant account providers familiar with the risks involved in legal medical marijuana sales, entrepreneurs can find the services they require without obfuscation.

With 15 states and the District of Columbia already de-criminalizing the sale of marijuana products for medicinal purposes it is likely that the issue will come to a head soon. Some states, such as California, are planning to charge dispensaries sales tax on all of their transactions – leaving such a cash cow alone when state coffers are stripped bare is unimaginable. The question remains: how will the federal government respond to the move?

Is it About Money or Perception?

It is easy to imagine the government moving in either direction.

Cannabis remains illegal in most of the world, and possession is considered a capital offense in many countries. The US government is unlikely to want global opinion to be so effected. On the other hand, the taxes provided by legalizing an already flourishing industry could reach $2-6 billion.

Unfortunately for merchants, there is no conclusive argument at this time. Obtaining business services will remain difficult and sudden terminations likely until all government agencies, state, local and federal are on the same page.

Indoor Medical Marijuana Growing Guide

Medical marijuana is legal in almost 14 states in the US and this is due to the fact that doctors believe that marijuana has healing properties. Under the federal law, growing marijuana, using it or having it in your possession is a criminal offense and for this reason, it is important that unless you have your physician’s recommendation to use it, you don’t even think about growing this substance at home.

For those who have obtained a license to grow marijuana legally, it is important that you learn the techniques of growing and cultivating marijuana. Given below is a short medical marijuana growing guide that can help you understand the process better.

1. Choosing a space to grow – some great places include basements, closets and attics. No matter which indoor location you choose, make sure that it has access to electrical outlets.

2. Containers – you will need to grow your plant in a pot or a container. Always make sure that you use large plastic pots.

3. Lighting – if you grow the plant indoors, then there are no chances for your plant to get sufficient sunlight. Since plants like marijuana need a lot of sunlight to grow well, you can use artificial lighting to give your plant all the light it needs to grow. Some great options include fluorescent lights, metal halide lights and high pressure sodium lights.

4. Consider the factors that will affect the rate of photosynthesis – apart from the amount of light reaching the plants, there are other factors that will affect the rate of photosynthesis. These include humidity, temperature, carbon dioxide, water, etc.

5. Harvesting – the best time to harvest is when the plants have started flowering. Wait for the flowering process to complete. Cut the plants, remove the lower big leaves and place the plants in shoe boxes. Stir them around on a daily basis as this will help them dry quickly. Once the plants have dried completely, they are ready for use.

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